Ulcer Cure Improves Life Expectancy

Curing peptic ulcer disease can improve life expectancy, especially for younger patients and those who have complicated ulcer disease. Efforts to prevent infection with the organism Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) -- a bacteria that causes ulcers in the stomach and duodenum -- would improve life expectancy in the general population, but would especially benefit groups with high rates of gastric cancer or peptic ulcer disease. H. pylori infection is a major contributor to peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer.

Some experts have recommended a large-scale public health effort to eradicate H. pylori, and researchers are working on a vaccine against it. Cure of active peptic ulcer disease increased life expectancy by 2.3 years in people ages 40 to 44 years. But the researchers found that the impact of cure decreased with advancing age: for patients ages 70 to 74 years, life expectancy increased by only 121 days.

American Journal of Gastroenterology August, 1998;93:1286-1290

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

The authors do not comment on how they would eradicate the ulcers. However, I suspect they would use one of the traditional drug therapies. If you have been receiving this newsletter for awhile, you know that I am strongly opposed to the drug treatment of ulcers.

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